All you need to know about Resume Margins and why they’re important

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A resume is a stepping stone in your career. Every profession- be it a Barista, an Executive Assistant, a Pharmacist or a Nanny- requires a resume. That one sheet of paper summarizes your professional experience, skills, educational qualification and all you need to tell the employer about you. Since it is an integral part of your career, it is important to ensure that you get it absolutely right.

After you have summarized your profile in your resume, it is now time to make it look as presentable, decent and professional as possible. While putting together your resume, these are the little things that matter a lot:

  • Font
  • Text size
  • Colours
  • Spacing
  • Margins

This article focuses on the following points:

Margins for resume

Do margins matter on a resume?

Standard margins for resume and text alignment

Margins for a creative resume

Resume font size and margins

How to set resume margins?

While formatting your resume, it’s essential to use standard resume margin guidelines. This way, your text looks balanced and equally spaced out on a paper resume or document (in case of e-resume).

Margins for resume

What margins should I use for a resume?

Good margins for resume are 1-inch on all sides. Since an ideal resume covers just one sheet of paper, you might need some more space to fit all the information you want to layout. In that case, reducing the margin used in resume is acceptable, but only till about ½ inch on all sides.

Do margins matter on a resume?

There are many ways resume narrow margins affect the overall look of your resume:

  1. That makes your resume looks too cluttered, messy and difficult to read.
  2. Very small margins of resume might make it look like it has a lot of information, which can get pretty boring to read. This thought may lead the employer to discard your resume without even having a second glance at it.
  3. While printing out your resume, if your printer makes a mistake or you use the wrong size/type of paper, your information may get cut on the sides.

Standard margins for resume and text alignment

While there are no second thoughts about this aspect, your resume text should always be left-aligned. This will not just give your resume a professional look, but will also be easy to read.

While you can divide your resume into columns, the text within those sections must always be left-aligned.

Talking about the sections, here is how you can space out your information in the different sections to make your resume look visually balanced:

Left: Name, Resume Objective/Summary, Professional Experience, Skills

Right: Contact Information, Educational Qualification, Additional information

Margins for a creative resume

Planning to create a creative resume?

A creative resume, although very popular amidst job seekers; is not that favoured by job providers. This happens for various reasons:

  1. Creativity is subjective

What’s “creative” for you, might be messy and unprofessional for your employer. This might backfire.

  1. Right resume for the right job

A creative resume makes a lot of sense when you are applying for a creative job, like a designer or an artist. This can be your first impression for your employer, who comes from the creative space her/him-self. While applying for any other job, like that of a financial analyst, or a pharmacist, your employer may not have vivid creative buds in order to understand yours. Besides, a “cool” and “funky” resume might give off the impression that you are not “serious enough” for the job you are applying for.

  1. It is dicey

The employers who have been screening resumes for half their age are used to the normal standard template. Looking at something entirely new suddenly may make them interested, or they might choose to discard it altogether. It depends on too many factors to be able to come to a certain conclusion.

  1. Difficult to get past the recruitment tool

A huge number of candidates apply for a single position in big firms. Sorting through those piles of resume is a huge task which is very taxing for a human being. To tackle this problem, most big companies use recruitment tools to do the first-level screening. Every job description has a set of keywords that the tool looks for, in the resume. The resumes that match the keywords pass the first level screening. A creative resume might not be taken that well by a tool and may get discarded at the first step itself.

Resume font size and margins

The standard font size used in a resume is 12. It is big enough to be easily readable and small enough to incorporate all the information on one page.

How to set resume margins?

The two most common mediums to build resumes are Microsoft Word and Google Docs. Let’s see how you can format and include the right page margins for resume.

Microsoft Word

  1. Select ‘Layout’ from the Ribbon at the top of the screen.
  2. Click on the ‘Margins’ option.
  3. Select ‘Normal’. This option is pre-set to 1-inch margins.

Google Docs

  1. Click on ‘File’ drop-down menu in the top bar.
  2. Select the option ‘Page Setup’.
  3. When the window opens, ‘Margin Settings’ will be on the right. 
  4. Enter ‘1’ in each of the boxes for Top, Bottom, Left and Right.
  5. Click on ‘Set as Default’ button if you always wish to use these margins.
  6. Select ‘OK’.

The format of your resume and the right resume margins play just as important a role in your job hunt as does the information within the resume. Your resume casts your first impression, so it’s essential to make sure it looks impressive. As they say, the first impression is the last impression.

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